Cape Town - South Africa has recently taken huge strides in the marine tourism
industry - specifically in October which is Marine Month – with 9-15 October
celebrated as National Marine Week.
With local shark cage diving company, Marine Dynamics, scooping
a prestigious global eco-tourism award and a report
on the progress of Operation Phakisa which seeks to develop SA's ocean's
economy, having both taken place in October makes for perfect-timing in Marine
Unlocking SA's ocean economy
Penguin Awareness Day was also celebrated on Saturday, 7 October, and
Marine Dynamics is hosting events later this week to celebrate SA’s endangered
Marine Dynamics sister company, African Penguin and Seabird
Sanctuary (APSS), will publicly release endangered African Penguins near the
Kleinbaai Tidal pool area in Gansbaai, at 12:00 on Saturday, 14 October.
“Our tuxedo friends have been affected in the past by the
removal of their eggs and guano harvesting which has ultimately led to the
decline in penguin numbers. Now various threats, including overfishing in their
feeding grounds, threaten their long term survival,” says APPS.
"Please remember to stand behind us, approximately 50m
away [from the release]. We are raring to get back to action. We cannot wait so
please do not be late," advises the Sanctuary.
SEE: African Penguin
Awareness Day: How you can help save SA's endangered penguins
The Deep Blue Ambassadors of Dyer Island Conservation Trust –
Marine Dynamics’ environmental project - will also be doing a play about the
challenges the African penguins face today.
The play is open to the public and will take place at the Sanctuary in
Gansbaai on 14 October at 13:00.
Marine Dynamics brought home the award for Shark and Whale
Eco-Tourism Benefiting Conservation and Community, from the Skål World
Congress, Sustainable Tourism Awards 2017.
“International recognition of the work Marine Dynamics is
doing in terms of marine eco-tourism and the impact for conservation and community
highlights not only the company but also South Africa and the marine species we
work with - especially the Great White shark and the endangered African
penguins,” says Marine Dynamics, adding that Skål is an international
organisation of 84 countries and “the award contributes to highlighting
sustainable tourism worldwide”.
Educating youth on
the “marine big five”
Marine Dynamics, Dyer Island Cruises, Dyer Island
Conservation Trust and Overstrand Municipality held a competition with the
schools in the Cape Whale Coast area - from Kleinmond to Gansbaai - to celebrate
National Marine Month.
“The competition comprises three categories for the various
age groups that include colouring-in, poetry and an essay or short film,” says
SEE: SA's Marine
Dynamics wins global sustainable tourism award
The objective of the competition is to educate students and
create awareness about the ocean systems, marine environment and the company’s “marine
“In the process, the team hopes to inspire the youth to take
care of our oceans and our environment,” says the company.
Entries are closed and winners will be announced by the end
of October. “Dyer Island Cruises has sponsored a boat trip for the top 30
winners to provide the opportunity to see first-hand the unique Dyer Island ecosystem
right on their doorstep,” adds Marine Dynamics.
Celebrating Marine Month, Two Oceans Aquarium and WWF-SASSI
(Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) are joining forces to
highlight the importance of making informed choices when purchasing
and consuming seafood.
“Teaming up with SASSI this Marine Week provides a great
opportunity to take the sustainable seafood message beyond the Aquarium and to
focus on informing and empowering consumers during this month,” says Two Oceans
Aquarium Communications and Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart.
“Whether we live on the coast or in the Free State or
Gauteng, as consumers we all have the power to drive change by choosing only
sustainable seafood when shopping for our home or when frequenting our
favourite seafood restaurant,” says Lockhart.
How you can make a responsible seafood choice
The Aquarium reminds us that there’s an app that can be
downloaded on your smartphone and used to help you figure out if the seafood
you are eating is sustainable, with the SASSI’s colour-coded seafood guide.
“This traffic light system tells you whether you can eat
something with a clear conscience (green), should think twice (orange) or avoid
altogether (red). The guide is easily accessible through the SASSI app or SMS
the name of the seafood to SASSI's FISHMS number (079 499 8795) to help you
make your informed choice. You can also check out the SASSI list online,” says
Two Oceans Aquarium.
“Consumers have the power to make a real difference by
consciously making greener choices when it comes to the fish they eat,” says
SASSI Manager Pavitray Pillay.
“These decisions may seem small in isolation, but
collectively they will make the difference as to whether we will be able to
continue to enjoy seafood into the future,” adds Pillay.
Each year SASSI reviews the list. This year, one of the
species that has changed from the green list to orange is the sardine due to
fishing pressures on this species.
“Other species that have changed on the list are prawns,
which are now listed as either orange or red, depending on the fishing methods
used; squid is now on the green and orange lists; red-eye round herring is on
the green list and panga has moved from red to orange,” says Two Oceans
What to read next on Traveller24:
- #WildlifeWednesday: These African Penguins will waddle right into your heart
- SA's Marine Dynamics wins global sustainable tourism award
- Cabinet approves marine and coastal plan for SA Tourism